How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

November 05, 2019

Natural gas furnaces need sufficient space and airflow to work properly.

Your furnace can shut down if it doesn’t have enough space. It also makes it hard for our specialists to complete furnace repair.

Routine furnace maintenance is important to keep your equipment operating trouble-free. A routinely serviced furnace may work more efficiently, which could lower your heating costs.

Related: How Does Furnace Maintenance Impact the Energy Efficiency of Your Home?

Maintenance often helps us spot issues before they begin. This could help lower future repair expenses and likely extend the life of your unit.

So how much room should your equipment really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

If you’re updating your basement or closing off your furnace room, you should consult manufacturer directions and Marshfield ordinances for clearance requirements.

As a general suggestion, your heater should be 30 inches away from furnace room walls on all sides. This allows our service experts to conveniently repair it.

You also need to ensure the room has plentiful airflow and ventilation, especially if you have an aging furnace with a metal flue.

Related: Furnace Service or Furnace Replacement: What to Consider

This model of furnace needs combustion air from the surrounding location. If there’s insufficient air, hazardous gas fumes and toxic carbon monoxide could back draft into your home.

If your furnace is placed in a little room with a gas water heater, you may need to install more openings. This could include a fully louvered door or vents in the walls.

Not sure if your furnace or water heater has proper ventilation? We can assist you!

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You don’t need to assess airflow and ventilation as much if you have a modern, high-efficiency furnace with PVC piping. Your unit uses one pipe as an exhaust vent and the other to add air.

Keep Combustible Materials Away from Your Furnace

Although furnace rooms double as laundry and storage space, you should keep yours free of things that could be fire hazards.

This includes:

  • Clotheslines
  • Cleaning or laundry products
  • Gasoline, paint or paint thinner
  • Rags and papers
  • Wood scraps and sawdust
  • Used filters

If you have a cat, place your litter box somewhere else. Cat urine contains ammonia, which could deteriorate your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could circulate the stinky odors throughout your home.

You should also routinely sweep by your furnace to stop dust from accumulating.

Related: Is it Time for Furnace Service or Replacement?

Request Expert Furnace Service 

Whether you want furnace replacement or routine maintenance in Marshfield, House of Heating Incorporated can expertly meet your needs. Our highly trained technicians can work on any furnace model or brand.

Call us at 715-384-3163 or use our online scheduler to get an appointment now.